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The Aerie Hotel or the Fairmont Empress

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Baltimore, Maryland
1 post
The Aerie Hotel or the Fairmont Empress

My wife and I are planning a vacation to Victoria area from

about Aug 18th 2005 thru Aug 30th 2005. Interested in opinions, recommendations and any experiences with the Aerie or Fairmont Empress Hotels . We plan on fishing and some sailing along with a few day trips to different areas.

Any recomendations of Fishing Captians or who to use for Sailing Charter along with suggestions about beaches, gardens or things to see or do are welcome.


Fremont, CA
Level Contributor
145 posts
2 reviews
1. Re: The Aerie Hotel or the Fairmont Empress

Check out the Royal Scot all suite hotel. It is less formal than the Empress and centrally located. Reasonable and only 4 floors. Much easier if you are going in and out in casual clothes. You can even cook you fish there in your own kitchen. It is a wonderful place to stay. It is within walking distance to town. Good retaurants and wonderful staff.

5 posts
2. Re: The Aerie Hotel or the Fairmont Empress

If you are planning to come to the Island I would reccomend starting at the Brentwood Bay Lodge, then to the Aerie and then up to Tofino. In Tofino you can look at the Wickininish Inn or Middle Beach Lodge. The Aerie has undergone a number of renovations over the winter The Chef and sous chef have just spent a month in France and they some pretty exciting changes to the menus coming for the Summer season.


4 posts
3. Re: The Aerie Hotel or the Fairmont Empress

I also would suggest the Aerie and if you can get to Tofino you will not be disappointed. Accomadations are plentiful in Tofino, I would suggest Middle Beach Lodge or the Wickannish Inn. If you do stay at the Aerie the is an excellent Marine Eco tourism business about a twenty minute drive from the Aerie in Cowichan Bay. The name of the company is Ocean Ecoventures they offer a multitude of tours ranging from whale watching, kayaking with whales, wine and whales( I took the this tour it combines whale watching and a tour to a wonderful island vineyard). This is a small business that caters to your every need. We spent three days with them and did three different tours each one was unique and captain Simon was great. I hope this helps you out.

1 post
4. Re: The Aerie Hotel or the Fairmont Empress

Hi there,

All i suggest is not to stay at the Empress. If you'd like to enjoy the Empress then go for Tea. Stay at the Aerie. It is very beautiful and is about 20 minute drive to downtown Victoria and not that far from Nanaimo. You can choose sailing or fishing at either.

Level Contributor
1 post
3 reviews
5. Re: The Aerie Hotel or the Fairmont Empress

I work in the hotel industry here in Victoria (not the Aerie :O) ) and I am happy you are coming here! Great place for a vacation I think. I would like to tell you what I "see" in your post... You say "my wife and I", "sailing", and "beaches". I translate that into you are looking for a romantic getaway. I would not think the Royal Scott is appropriate for you. The Aerie is. The Aerie is absolutely beautiful. I have been there on crystal clear summer nights with beautiful sunsets with eagles flying by as well as the quiet solitude of being the only two people in the dining room on a stormy winter night just listening to the piano and drinking wine. It is a magical place. If romantic is what you are after there is no choice in my mind. The Aerie is a little bit of a drive outside of Victoria though (30 mins) so if you have the time I would stay a night or two actually in downtown Victoria. Along the same romantic lines of the Aerie (but not quite the same caliber) is a bed and breakfast called "Abigails". It is walkable to everything downtown. A f-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c restaurant downtown in called "Cafe Brio" and is a 10 min walk from Abigails. One of the three best restaurants I've every been two. Note that one of the other two was the Dining Room of the Aerie.

If you are a little on the adventurous side I would suggest things to do like a small kayak trip in the inner harbour. It is one of the most beautiful harbours in the world and being on the water reveals that for sure! Also the 30 minute Floatplane tour around the city is lots of fun especially if you haven't been on a floatplane before. Now obviously there is the world famous Butchart Gardens which is a must see. That is also about a 30 min drive outside of town. Downtown, a must see is our museum, the "Royal BC Museum". If you are interested in the natives here and how the lived, the pacific coast rainforest, old ways of Victorian living, the dioramas in this large museum are impressive.

Sorry for being so long, but your email struck a chord with me and I want everyone who comes here to have the experience they are looking for. If you are on any kind of a budget though, I would only go for dinner at the Aerie and not stay there... skip Cafe Brio for Il Terrazo... drop the floatplane for the kayak, etc. BUT if you want to do it "right" and have unforgettable memories... I would bite the bullet and do it. My motto is that you always remember how much you spent when you didn't enjoy it, if you enjoyed it you only remember the experience. My email is snappleguy@hotmail.com if you have any specific questions you would like to ask about Victoria.

British Columbia
5 posts
1 review
6. Re: The Aerie Hotel or the Fairmont Empress

I don't know much about the Aerie but I can suggest 110% NOT to stay at the Empress!! I am actually a staff member at a Fairmont sister property and I am embarrassed to say the Empress is part of our chain.

The Front Desk staff are incredibly rude and they have a habit of overbooking the Hotel. So, there is a distinct possibility that you will be shuttled to a different Hotel anyway.

My professional opinion is to stay at the Delta Ocean Suites. Reasonably priced, EXCELLENT staff, good food and they treat their guests like gold.


Victoria BC
Level Contributor
26 posts
15 reviews
7. Re: The Aerie Hotel or the Fairmont Empress

The Aerie and The Empress are "Premier" Properties charging outrageous prices and while both are nice they represent some of the worst value in the city. For my money I'd look at some of the cities better B&B's. Many are well reviewed on tripadvisor and provide so much more than a hotel. Last time I stayed at the Fairmont Airport in Vancouver a bottle of water was $5 - youch.

If you've never stayed at a B&B don't be afraid Victoria has some of the best in the world and you'll most likely be converted

North Vancouver...
Level Contributor
1,146 posts
3 reviews
8. Re: The Aerie Hotel or the Fairmont Empress

I have stayed several times at the Victoria Regent. Deluxe suites right on the harbour, breakfast included, and less expensive than the Empress. You can walk all around downtown Victoria from this location. If you get a suite on the harbour side you can see the Parliament buildings, fantastic when illuminated at night.

Level Contributor
184 posts
7 reviews
9. Re: The Aerie Hotel or the Fairmont Empress

I'm amazed at the negative comments you've gotten about the Empress Hotel. My husband and I stayed there last September and absolutely LOVED it. We found the staff to be outstanding, and we travel all over the world, so have stayed at hundreds of places. From the concierge to the cleaning staff, we NEVER encountered one rude person---if fact, just the opposite. I can't wait to go back to Victoria, and we will definitely stay at the Empress again. As far as the price, we had to pay over twice as much for a hotel in NYC in December, twice as much for a hotel in Savannah in Jan. and about the same amount for a motel in Orlando last week---and that was a Sleep Inn Motel!!!! Hope you'll keep an open mind about the hotels. We have several friends who have stayed at Abigale's and they really enjoyed it, but it is quite a hike from the harbor/museum area. It is walking distance, but allow plenty of time. Wherever you stay, you will love Victoria. It is a beautiful city.